1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Greetings Guest!!

    In order to combat SPAM on the forums, all users are required to have a minimum of 2 posts before they can submit links in any post or thread.

    Dismiss Notice

What the Producer Letter could have been...

Discussion in 'UHall' started by Dermott of LS, Aug 26, 2012.

  1. Dermott of LS

    Dermott of LS UOEC Modder
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    Messages:
    5,320
    Likes Received:
    528
    ...

    A lot of people are not exactly thrilled with the latest letter from Jeff Skalski, myself included. While I shar ein his enthusiasm for the Ultima brand as a whole and for U4E, the letter was posted to the Ultima ONLINE website and was expected when it was previously announced to be more in line with UO itself that what we received. After laying down for the evening, in that semi-sleep mode when the brain starts getting really creative, I started coming up with what the letter from the producer could have been and today worked it out. So here I present the alternative version of the Letter From the Producer:

    Hail Fellow UO Adventurers,

    I wanted to take a few minutes and post my thoughts on Ultima, what the Team has been working on over the past few months and the direction we will be taking for the next several months.

    Next month is the 15th Anniversary of UO, a huge milestone for the game. As you have already had a peek of the harpsichord, we have several Anniversary gifts ready to go which we think players of UO will enjoy. But the Anniversary celebration doesn’t stop there. Our ingame event series is currently working its way up to something amazing to happen in UO in honor of its Anniversary and we want as many players as possible to be able to participate. Even more we are preparing for an Anniversary party at our Virginia studio!

    We have been busy updating the legacy Anti-Virtue dungeons with the latest being Despise coming in Publish 78. This makes the fourth of the seven dungeons having been revamped since the project began. We have three dungeons left: Destard, Hythloth, and Deceit and will be monitoring feedback and issues with Despise and previously updated dungeons so that we can fix problems in currently updated dungeons and create amazing content for the final three.

    As the holiday season picks up we are working on enjoyable holiday events and content. Looking even further forward into next year, we plan on improving the game in many ways. First we want to make a bug sprint to squash as many outstanding bugs as we can. Second, while the Enhanced Client is good, we do not believe it is “good enough” and will be working on the issues that persist in that client. The latest patch for the client worked to solve the dynamic object handling system leading to a more stable client. Work on higher resolution artwork continues but is some ways away. We would love to give some previews, but as the quality of the work is not yet up to our standards, we are holding off for the time being until we can give you previews that will be more in line with what we want to release. Third, we are also looking at recreating the uo.com and myUO.com webpages with updated information and features. While this is external to the game, many players of UO find it to be important and integral to the game itself.

    Finally, Ultima is more than just Ultima Online and with that in mind, we have had a team create Ultima Forever, a new vision on the Ultima series starting with Ultima IV as a base. The success of U4E will help UO by showing EA that passion exists for the brand as a whole and will help bring in more resources for the Ultima brand including UO. We are committed to the Ultima brand and want to see UO reach its 20th Anniversary and beyond!


    Keep in mind that none of the above states anything that hasn't already been released in one form or another as information, so there's nothing specifically "new", but what it provides in my opinion is a message that is more focused showing what the team is working on and upcoming goals for the game without "spoilering" everything.

    So there it is, the Letter From the Producer that could have been.
     
    Queen Mum, Lord Frodo, Nimuaq and 3 others like this.
  2. HD2300

    HD2300 Certifiable
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Messages:
    1,783
    Likes Received:
    10
    fyi the UO Franchise Producers job is to promote all UO Frachise products. The UO Producers job is to promote UO. Just saying.
     
  3. Dermott of LS

    Dermott of LS UOEC Modder
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    Messages:
    5,320
    Likes Received:
    528
    ...

    And the letter was put on the UO site, which most people would expect such a letter would be a bit more about UO with mention (but not overbearingly so) of other Ultima titles (specifically U4E which IS coming out and NOT about a mythical UO2 which is NOT coming out). And you'll see that the last paragraph in my version does just that... covers the Ultima brand as a whole.
     
  4. Madrid

    Madrid Slightly Crazed
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    Messages:
    1,260
    Likes Received:
    268
    Dermott needs to get on the payroll with Pinco!:cool:
     
    Queen Mum and Woodsman like this.
  5. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    This was a good letter Dermott. This letter made sense.
     
    #5 Woodsman, Aug 26, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 26, 2012
  6. Salivern_Diago

    Salivern_Diago Lore Master
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    Messages:
    1,112
    Likes Received:
    41
    I read though that letter.. and why would Jeff have posted anything like that? The letter there is what a Producer of UO would have wrote not the Franchise Producer.

    Seriously guys you really need to learn the difference between the UO Producer and the Ultima Franchise Producer (Plus you actually need to read what the letter says rather than looking for instant gratification).
     
    Spiritless likes this.
  7. Dermott of LS

    Dermott of LS UOEC Modder
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    Messages:
    5,320
    Likes Received:
    528
    ...

    Because communication about the direction of UO is what we need right now, not some rambling blurb about one game that isn't yet in beta and another that isn't even on the drawing board. He needed to take the audience into account. A letter like the one released should have been sent to a site like Massively or Ultima Codex. A letter posted to the UO Herald should be about... UO.

    The biggest problem we have right now is that there hasn't been a clear piece of communication that we can hold on to saying exactly what the vision for UO is. Everything in the letter I wrote had to be pieced together from various questions and topics.
     
    Samaira likes this.
  8. Salivern_Diago

    Salivern_Diago Lore Master
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    Messages:
    1,112
    Likes Received:
    41
    As I said before.. what you are ASKING for is something that the UO Producer should post NOT the Ultima Franchise Producer. It really isnt that hard to see the difference. If you want a letter like that.. then send requests to Bonnie/Mesanna and ask for it. You got exactly what you'ld expect from the Ultima Franchise Producer and it details the issues Jeff is aware off. To be honest, if my players moaned and complained over every little thing... I wouldn't bother posting on the fan sites either.

    Or I'll put it a bit easier for some guys that really dont understand the difference. Would you go to a fireman and complain about Criminal Courts or would you go to Taco Bell and expect a Big Mac with Fries? Come on guys, show a little sense here and stop with the pointless complaining over what is in essence a non-subject!
     
  9. Xalan Dementia

    Xalan Dementia Slightly Crazed
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Messages:
    1,355
    Likes Received:
    81
    I find it odd how a handful of people here somehow thought the letter was going to be a huge deal. Just because jeff posted on his twitter account saying "Just wrote a letter to the UO community. Hope to see it posted in the coming weeks." What part of that post stated anything about a huge announcement or anything that the 5 angry uhallers wanted to see? He told us he wrote a letter, granted it would have been nice if it was longer or with alil more substance, but we got what we got. Hopefully he would continue to speak to us even though everytime he opens his mouth about anything, the 5 angry uhallers go ballistic and derail every thread they can until they get more people mad over nothing.

    spoke my opinion on the whole thing, take what you will from it but hopefully everyone can calm down and try to enjoy the 15th anni this week.
     
    Salivern_Diago likes this.
  10. Flutter

    Flutter Always Present
    Stratics Veteran Alumni Stratics Legend

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Messages:
    21,553
    Likes Received:
    3,840
    You can go on and on with this but as a matter of fact I asked Jeff via Twitter if he was still UO Producer or has he completely transitioned to another position and he did confirm that both he and Mesanna are both Producers of the Ultima Online title.
    I specifically educated myself before the discussion. Perhaps you should too.
     
    #10 Flutter, Aug 26, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2012
    MalagAste, Lightfoot and Uriah Heep like this.
  11. O'Brien

    O'Brien Thought Police

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2012
    Messages:
    285
    Likes Received:
    159
    Yeah I guess the "5 angry uhallers" thought that Jeff's post would be a timely answer to all the disappointment about his blatantly broken promises. How amazingly foolish to think that! :rolleyes: Indeed we should just not expect honesty from UO producers or expect an explanation when something doesn't go as promised. Afterall, if UO wasn't just on maintenance mode, they would have told us something by now. Misplaced hope keeps X number of subscriptions going, and they certainly don't want to lose that revenue.

     
    Nimuaq and Flutter like this.
  12. Xalan Dementia

    Xalan Dementia Slightly Crazed
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Messages:
    1,355
    Likes Received:
    81
    list his supposed broken promises, and how are they considered broken if he didnt give a deadline? theres still time and maybe the promises are still being worked on. I simply ask the ragers to stop hating every single thing the controllers of UO do, for no reason other than your personal wants from the game. It seems each of the haters have one pet peeve addition/change to uo that they want more than anything, but instead of constructively campaigning to get the addition/change, they simply b*tch and moan about every other change/addition until they get what they want or just get put on ignore. They threaten to quit yet still give money to a company they seem to openly hate. I dont want to see players quit but I also hate to listen to the constant stream of negativity. EA/mythic is who people should rage on, not their servants. The uo budget is probably paperthin, which means we can't all get what we want. High res graphics? sure if you sacrifice bug fixes and other additions until its finished. some stuff people cry for would cost too much.
    then people might say the staff of UO should stand up for the players and fight with EA/M for what UO needs. We have had devs that have done this and look what happens. Asking for more for your game seems to shorten your job's life expectancy at EA/M.


    take my words lightly, im cursed with always seeing both sides of things even when one sides clearly wrong
     
  13. O'Brien

    O'Brien Thought Police

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2012
    Messages:
    285
    Likes Received:
    159
    That's okay, if you still think they've been totally upfront and honest with us, then no list I post is going to make a difference here.
    I think your analysis here is incorrect point by point, except maybe your last sentence in some cases. It's delusional to think that promises are "being worked on. " Most of the "rage" I've seen is coming from the folks still desperately trying to defend current UO development.
    Constant stream of negativity is the direct result of a constant stream of poor Development and a communication policy of deceit. You don't have to read it if you don't want to. In fact, many choose to ignore it.
    I'm sure the UO budget is paperthin. That's why they should level with us. But apparently they've decided that that isn't a profitable approach.


    Hmm, I think I missed you seeing more than one side... ?
     
    #13 O'Brien, Aug 26, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2012
  14. Xalan Dementia

    Xalan Dementia Slightly Crazed
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Messages:
    1,355
    Likes Received:
    81
    no doubt the level of communication still isnt ideal but it has gotten much better and hopefully continues. It sometimes feels like they dont post on uhall anymore because they get yelled at everytime. and why would the devs fight the higher ups for more for UO, all for people who just rage on them on a daily basis?

    not sure where your looking but alot of the rage is the same posters that have either quit and still rage dump here, or they threaten quitting with every publish, with a few that seem to actually care about the game and post constructively. Most the rage i speak of is the posters that jump in on a thread and add a quick lil line either sarcastically praising the devs or sayin "you did this when I wanted you to do that"

    You say poor development yet that is merely because the latest content additions were not your cup of tea. People say new despise is a horrid idea, they hate on the void pool, they rage about the event arc, yet others are out there enjoying it. Not every addition/change is for everyone.

    by sayin i see both sides is, we have plenty of posts from the few rage filled posters for all to see that side, I see the other side and try to express it.

    all in all its just a game and it shouldnt cause so much high blood pressure among people but it can't be helped i guess. Dont like whats bein offered on UO right now, then maybe take a break. We'll be here when you've cooled off
     
  15. O'Brien

    O'Brien Thought Police

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2012
    Messages:
    285
    Likes Received:
    159
    Nope. I say poor development because it's poor development, not because it's not my cup of tea.
     
  16. O'Brien

    O'Brien Thought Police

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2012
    Messages:
    285
    Likes Received:
    159
    To elaborate more on my above post, take for hypothetical example a new game addition that introduces a competition where only scripters can win the top prizes. Well it doesn't matter who enjoys it or who's cup of tea it is, it's poor development in any game that isn't meant to be played by scripting.

    By poor development, I mean neglect and/or introducing game flaws, bugs, unbalance, or things that don't fit or flow well in the game, regardless of who does or doesn't like it. It's game design quality.
     
    #16 O'Brien, Aug 26, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2012
  17. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    To make promises, you have to communicate, so that's a pretty good starting point, right?

    September, 2011, Stratics
    November, 2011, Franchise Producer's Letter
    Honestly, my only personal want is for more players, a level of communication that at least mimics the communication that non-Mythic MMORPGs have with their players, and some kind of direction that would allow me to help bring in people I know who used to play. Previous UO teams did that. All non-Mythic MMORPGs do it. BioWare does it - SWTOR has a big ole See the Future of the Old Republic article right there on the front page.
    Mythic found the money for a new Ultima game, even as they were shrinking the UO team down during that time. EA/Mythic is the problem though. All of Mythic's MMORPGs have the same problems communicating with their players and they show no interest in fixing it.

    Do you have suggestions on who we can contact about the problems with Mythic?
     
  18. Flutter

    Flutter Always Present
    Stratics Veteran Alumni Stratics Legend

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Messages:
    21,553
    Likes Received:
    3,840
    Question, these "5 angry uhallers"... how many post "likes" do any of them have?
    Considering this recent Stratics server upgrade only recently allowed post likes, I'd say those people with valid points would have more likes than anyone.
    Funny thing is I bet the people you consider to be the "5 angry uhallers" have more post likes than anyone else, except maybe Petra.
     
  19. Reth

    Reth Journeyman

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    27
    #19 Reth, Aug 26, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2012
    Queen Mum likes this.
  20. Dermott of LS

    Dermott of LS UOEC Modder
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    Messages:
    5,320
    Likes Received:
    528
    ...

    It will be interesting to read and compare. Obviously commentary will be made when it is released.
     
  21. Xalan Dementia

    Xalan Dementia Slightly Crazed
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Messages:
    1,355
    Likes Received:
    81

    most have around 4 likes, from the other 4 angry uhallers, other than that not as many as you'd think given how loud the moaners are these days. Perhaps thats because most the other players got sick of uhall and dont bother to post here, leaving the fringe ragers behind.

    I guess all i can say at this point is, here's the door, if your really fed up then by all means use it and show EA/M your pissed.

    Now back to your regularly scheduled rage dump
     
  22. Dermott of LS

    Dermott of LS UOEC Modder
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    Messages:
    5,320
    Likes Received:
    528
    ...

    There are people who have played UO for a decade or more who are concerned about the management direction the game has taken since the Stygian Abyss expansion. We've seen the goals go from ambitious to questionable and the team from amazing and outgoing to almost completely unknown.

    I hope Mesanna's letter blows my re-write away, I really do. We're told this team is "passionate" about UO... so let's see it.
     
  23. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    Hopefully she will say nothing about Ultima Forever or an Ultima Online 2.

    And for those attending the birthday party who have to travel a good ways, hopefully she gives them a reason to, other than to just fly out to Virginia and hang out.

    Ideally, we'll hear that they are going to make an effort to bring in more players.
     
    #23 Woodsman, Aug 26, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 26, 2012
    Flutter likes this.
  24. Lady Silverbrook

    Lady Silverbrook Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2012
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    63
    Already done. I closed all three UO accounts immediately after reading Jeff's letter. It will not stop me however from speaking my mind about a game I have played for 13 years and have seen fall into horrible neglect by the people we pay to keep it afloat until they all actually deactivate.

    By the way, you more than likely consider me an 'angry UHaller'. Looking at my post history, a recent-ish post regarding how I view the current state of UO earned me 14 'likes'. And again, that is for one single post. I suppose your chosen number of 5 is a bit off. You are simply deluded if you think the majority of players are blissfully happy with the care, support and communication they receive as customers. Trust me, they are not.
     
    #24 Lady Silverbrook, Aug 26, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2012
    Martyna Zmuir likes this.
  25. Driven Insane

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2012
    Messages:
    581
    Likes Received:
    228
    The last thread led to a forum vacation so I'm not going to say much other than I didn't care for his attitude towards THIS GAME and I felt that his letter insulted our intelligence.

    Someone else summed it up his message perfectly.

    "Buy stuff from our store and sign up for that other Ultima game"
     
  26. Salivern_Diago

    Salivern_Diago Lore Master
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    Messages:
    1,112
    Likes Received:
    41
    Yes that is correct.. as he is the Franchise Producer he is also a Producer of U4E and every other Ultima Product out there. That is his job... However your tweets to Jeff below...

    you asked: Are you still working on UO at all or have you completely transitioned to UF?

    Jeff replied: Split between both. Mesanna drives the day to day with UO as the Producer.

    I suggest that you re-educate yourself in these matters as there is nothing there that says Jeff is directly in control over UO. In fact he says quite clearly that Mesanna is the UO Producer.

    I apologise here but you are proven wrong.
     
    #26 Salivern_Diago, Aug 27, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2012
  27. Flutter

    Flutter Always Present
    Stratics Veteran Alumni Stratics Legend

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Messages:
    21,553
    Likes Received:
    3,840
    Reading comprehension my friend.
    "Split between both" means he is Producing both titles. If he is producing both titles, that means that he is Producer of UO and Producer of U4E.
    I am well aware of what I asked and what was answered. (Every time someone replies I get an update on my smartphone.) I also scored really well on my SATs under reading comprehension. Are you one of my followers? That's sweet. I wonder if you can find all my tweets to Jeff.
     
    #27 Flutter, Aug 27, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2012
    Martyna Zmuir likes this.
  28. Salivern_Diago

    Salivern_Diago Lore Master
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    Messages:
    1,112
    Likes Received:
    41
    No I'm not one of your followers, however I have had a look at your tweets and find you rather brash and slightly abusive so that wont be changing any time soon. I'ld also suggest that you take your own advice that you gave Syfy (As a note, I only took notice if your tweets today to see what it was you actually asked Jeff so the ":heart: to your stalkers" dosnt really apply... I wont be looking again).

    And.. no, I still do-not see where he says he is producer of UO.. I see that he is still 'working' on UO but he does state rather clearly that Bonnie is the UO Producer.

    Sadly my school years are far behind me, I dont even believe SAT's existed when I left school so you have me beat there. However with around 20 years of Game design under my belt (Including online, table based, live action and story based) I do have rather a good understanding on how these things operate. But however you are more than welcome to continue to berate Jeff for doing his job and bringing the whole Ultima Franchise to the fore... but then dont complain when he dosn't bother to reply to you.
     
    #28 Salivern_Diago, Aug 27, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2012
  29. Flutter

    Flutter Always Present
    Stratics Veteran Alumni Stratics Legend

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Messages:
    21,553
    Likes Received:
    3,840
    *Snickers*
    I should take my advice I gave Syfy? LOL Ok. I will stop pushing soft porn and calling it science fiction...
    As far as
    I am pretty sure Jeff is a strong enough man with a thick enough skin that he doesn't get his feelings hurt. Regardless, I've never berated Jeff for doing his job. I do however berate him occasionally for NOT doing his job.
    Now we can pretend that we don't think it's possible for UO to have two Producers or that Producers can work on multiple projects since your "20 years in game design" seems to dictate otherwise, but I will tell you a letter to UO players on the offical UO site should discuss Ultima Online and not how great it would be if we all started playing another game.
     
    #29 Flutter, Aug 27, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2012
  30. Viper09

    Viper09 Grand Poobah
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    Messages:
    6,680
    Likes Received:
    824
    True, one would expect that a letter on an official UO website should discuss UO. However one might also expect UO players to be interested in hearing about other Ultima games that are in the works.
     
    #30 Viper09, Aug 27, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2012
  31. Salivern_Diago

    Salivern_Diago Lore Master
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    Messages:
    1,112
    Likes Received:
    41
    As I keep saying however.. that would be Mesanna's job, it wouldnt be good grace for Jeff to go over Mesanna like that. I sure as hell wouldnt like it if my boss did that to me!

    I really feel that alot of people on here.. you included direct your anger towards the wrong person. I'm currently working on 4 projects myself BUT I'm only the Producer on one of those. That dosnt mean I produce all 4 and thankfully I dont as I can only keep up with one of the teams in depth. You like the others on here need to remember that Mesanna runs UO not Jeff. He manages the Ultima Franchise and the letter he posted clearly relates to that.

    I cant see how you can mis-understand that so badly, besides Mesanna will be posting her letter to everyone over the next day or two so that should calm you lot down.

    As for me however, I'm about to go to Taco Bell and order a Big Mac withn extra large fries and a Vanilla McShake.
     
  32. Flutter

    Flutter Always Present
    Stratics Veteran Alumni Stratics Legend

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Messages:
    21,553
    Likes Received:
    3,840
    We can go back and forth all day.
    Taco Bell shouldn't have a big sign on the front door saying how great it would be to eat at Mc Donalds.

    We are going to have to agree to disagree on this. The letter was bad in my opinion. It was just a longer version of a Tweet that could have been posted any old day. If he is not involved in the production of Ultima Online he wouldn't have posted a letter at all, nor would he have said in a Tweet that he is working on "both" games. He needs to post as if he has a vested interest in Ultima Online. He needs to communicate with us about Ultima Online. He should be tweeting about Ultima Online just as often as he is every other game in the universe if not more. Do you know how often he posts about playing some other game and what fun it is? If somehow it is "abrasive" for me to ask him to post about Ultima Online as frequently as ... ever... then I will continue to be "abrasive".
     
  33. Salivern_Diago

    Salivern_Diago Lore Master
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    Messages:
    1,112
    Likes Received:
    41
    Fair enough on that, I do agree that there needs to be more publicity towards UO.. both on UOH, Twitter, Facebook etc.

    I also agree that the team needs to be a bit more.. open towards the players, but then in saying that the players needs to be a bit less militant and more proactive. The way I see it though, that Twitter is Jeffs personal twitter, I dont know about you but how often do you tweet about your work?

    (BTW A very good job there of disarming a possible argument, you've earned some respect from me on that! ;) )